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Worst News Ever: "Oh Noes, The Game Is Just Too Short!"

When you're making a new game, you want good word-of-mouth.

You want positive, intriguing headlines that get consumers excited about the upcoming product. You want them talking about it in forums and communities, you want gamers asking questions; in general, you want that title in the limelight.

However, there are headlines you never want to see associated with your game and in my experience, one of the most damaging is the news that a game is shorter than anticipated. Obviously, this drives gamers nuts. Most still think games cost too much in the first place (not even remotely close to accurate, but whatever), and when it comes to $60, they expect to get some serious bang for their buck.

This is why people are freaking out over the headline found here: "You'll Reach Destiny's Max Level in 'Only a Few Hours.'" Now, at least the source has posted the full information, and Bungie clarifies by saying it's not about gaining levels in the game. They didn't want to make it all about level-grinding, so they made it more about finding and equipping better and better gear. That's a fair explanation, even if it's a somewhat odd design choice.

However, the game has already taken a hit on the hype and anticipation scale simply because of that headline. The actual information is almost irrelevant because as we all know, too many gamers online don't actually read; all they see is the headline. And it's all they're going to remember. When it involves the length of an upcoming experience, one they're eagerly anticipating, the reaction is downright nasty. For the most part, gamers respond better to delays and other sorts of bad news. But if reports start circulating that make the adventure seem shorter than expected...God help the developers.

I'm not saying it's wrong, per se, I'm just making an observation.

Tags: video game length, gaming culture, gaming industry

4/29/2014 9:44:24 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (30 posts)

Akuma07
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 @ 10:24:30 PM
Reply

The idea behind it, is that your level itself isn't really that important, to me it seems as though your level is only for some base stats, and access to certain places on the map.

By the time you reach the max level you will be more involved with skill and loot grinding, the game will be more about what kind of loot you have, and how much you have developed your characters abilities.

Since basically all of your equipable items can gain experience points in the game, everything else levels up as well, extending that "level up" experience.

It makes a lot of sense, and they have designed it keeping in mind exactly how they want people to play Destiny.

Skyrim is another RPG FPS where your level isn't so important, it is relevant to your abilities, and what you have access to, but that is all. I expect the same thing from Destiny.

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Shauneepeak
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 2:11:18 AM

Yep totally understand their decision on this especially if they want to capture the CoD and Halo crowd. In a shooter with RPG elements you don't want the no-lifers completely destroying the newer players in PVP within the first week. With it only taking a few hours of grinding to hit cap it will allow PVP to be fairly balanced early on and help prevent dead-zones for players trying to group.

But still for a game that is supposed to be a borderline MMO I was hoping for at least a 20hr grind to max level. If this game is simply going to be about finding better loot with little emphasis on leveling and struggling through increasingly difficult zones don't we already have Borderlands for that?

But hey with this much negative reaction and more than 6 months until launch they still have time to tweak the leveling and experience system. I don't think Bungie wants to lose any hype and potential players on what they are hoping will be the biggest new franchise for this generation.

Last edited by Shauneepeak on 4/30/2014 2:12:00 AM

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Akuma07
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 2:37:33 AM

Also, I don't really think that you can say Destiny is only a few hours long, just because you hit max level in a few hours (this is also completely unconfirmed?).

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Shauneepeak
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 7:34:57 AM

All of this news is from the recent info embargo being lifted and apparently this "few hours" statement came directly from Tyson Green, Destiny's investment lead.
Also OFC Destiny isn't only a few hours long anyone who has ever played an MMO should know this, hopefully the shooter crowd realizes this as well. Most time in MMO's is spent on end-game content and the first few weeks usually have people rushing to level cap so they can enjoy that content. I just feel it is always nice to have a fun decent length "noob" experience before that end game "grind".

Last edited by Shauneepeak on 4/30/2014 7:38:11 AM

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Temjin001
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 @ 10:33:52 PM
Reply

I'm all about the non-grind. Destiny just earned 2 points for me.

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Crabba
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 @ 11:03:05 PM
Reply

I'm all about quality, not quantity so I don't care if the game is 10 hours or 100 hours, in fact I prefer a 10 hour game where the developers have spent all their time making sure those ten hours are awesome, detailed and original, instead of the typical 100 hour game where everything looks more or less the same, or at the very least more generic & less detailed.

However I very much do agree that games are way too expensive at the MSRP cost of $60 anyway. In my opinion they would probably sell a lot more copies & therefore make more money by selling new games closer to the price of a new blu-ray movie for example. There are enough consoles out there so the market is certainly big enough to sell a whole lot more than the big triple-A titles typically do.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 @ 11:52:16 PM
Reply

Ohhh that's trouble when you get those headlines. Why have levels at all if they are over in a few hours?

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Crabba
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 6:11:44 AM

I do agree with that though, sounds really weird to have "levels" including a "max" level, if you can reach the max level in a few hours..

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Knightzane
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 @ 11:53:33 PM
Reply

No grinding? Sorry wkc2, your place in my heart has been replaced.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 10:02:04 AM

Why oh why did they have to make it such a grind?

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homura
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 12:05:54 AM
Reply

As a former Ragnarok Online player (MMORPG) way back in the past, this is a good news. I loved and and enjoy the game. But because of the level grinding, some of us players used bot programs which somehow greatly diminished the fun in leveling up with a human controlled party. So our enjoyment comes only in War Of Emperium (Guild Wars), Boss hunts and PvP.

And if Destiny reduced the time of leveling up in a MMOFPS/RPG and instead makes the players focused on making you hunt rare equipments, items, boss or just exploring the world with a party and killing other race or guilds, making war, then it's great. Players will have less worry about high level with no skills to troll your party. Good luck to Destiny.

Last edited by homura on 4/30/2014 12:06:37 AM

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 2:46:12 AM
Reply

Well... it's an FPS first and foremost, so it's something of a novelty that it even has levels (to me, anyway). But then, it is an MP-oriented game, so I can see why people are feeling some grief over this.

I want a real FPSRPG, where the characters' basic stats, like speed, agility, accuracy, etc., are tied to a levelling system, rather than having ancillary skills tied to it, like in Fallout and Deus Ex. And what is the levelling tied to in Destiny? Equippable loot? That's a genuine question, btw, if anyone knows the answer.

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homura
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 4:58:06 AM

This is just my own idea on this. Let's just say the level cap is 99 and you can achieved it in just 10 hrs. It doesn't matter how fast you did it, the important thing is how you distribute the level-up points and skill points to your character. And based on the build of your character, Bungie maybe created equipments and armor that will compliment your character build and it's up to you to find it out.

For example. Maybe I will build a character with speed, damage and a little vitality as my priority but I choose a skill tree that is suited for a pure vit instead of the skill tree that is suited for pure agility. In short, I'm a hybrid. An armor heavy type with more movement and attack speed. And there's a set of armor created by Bungie just for my type and it's up to me to discover it out. Well I hope that's the case. A lot of diversity in building a character and it doesn't take years to max it. Cause it's really fun to experiment. And may the best builder wins.

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 5:19:06 AM

I really like your example, but I can't help but feel as though it's the kind of thing that Bungie isn't doing. What gives me that feeling is that they've continually downplayed the RPG aspects to emphasise that it's a "shared-world shooter" with levelling.

What is in that levelling? Is it just skill points, or does it actually offer you the ability to build your avatar to a specific purpose?

The kind of system that I want to see is one that gives you the ability to completely tailor the class of your character, unrelated to the presence of armour types. For example, an elite sniper build would focus points into agility (to climb quickly and efficiently) and accuracy (for obvious reasons). A frontline soldier would focus on health and firepower. An engineer/medic would benefit most from speed (and I would say stealth).

That importance of basic stats isn't something that I've ever seen implemented in anything trying to call itself an FPSRPG. At least, not in the form that I envision it...

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Shauneepeak
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 8:00:12 AM

As the leveling is sounding right now it really does seem to simply be gaining more skills I am not sure if HP is tied to leveling in anyway because I have not seen it mentioned. As it stands weapon leveling seems to be bigger than actual character leveling. I remember reading that weapons can go up to level 200, now I am not sure if this is for individual weapons or entire weapon families.
Also Homura you writing about a specific type of character reminded me to post something. One of the specific things a Dev mentioned was multiple characters. In game there will be an item vault where you can store items that all characters on your account have access to. The great example the Dev talking used was that he personally has two characters one that sounded like it was your basic well-balanced character he would use for PVM and gathering loot. He would then put all that fancy loot into the vault where his second character, a much more PVP focused character with skills that use its class to the fullest, would have access to them.

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Vivi_Gamer
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 4:42:29 AM
Reply

The problem is much like you stated in the article, if people are going to invest full price for a game they want their moneys worth. Paying full price for a game you can complete in a day is a tad bit disappointing. I was thinking this when I recently play Soul Calibur: Lost Swords, the Free2Play game. Had that actually been a proper release, I would have felt conned for sure. I only got a good 3 hours out of it before I ran out of tokens - A system which I hate by the way, i'd never pay extra for tokens so all they're doing is restricting me from playing the game.

That is one good thing about Trophies this gen, it usually requires you to replay the game a few times and can extend a 6 hours story experience to 20+ hours which was my experience with Ground Zeroes.

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Bio
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 4:50:55 AM
Reply

Games do cost too much, and Steam sales data has proven this

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Axe99
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 6:24:21 PM

If game developers and publishers were making a killing, I'd say you were right, but they're not. Game devs are one of the lowest paid professions for people at their skill level (I know more than a few game devs who decided to go into professional software development for better hours and far more pay, but effectively the same work), and the developers and publishers are not making a lot of money. There's just no economic justification for suggesting games cost too much. It's a self-centred argument, made in ignorance of the current balance between development costs and unit sales.

As for Steam, it launches games at much the same price as on console. Sure, it has great sales on older games, but so do the consoles. A few years ago it was also a cheap dumping ground for console ports, but that's by and large changed with the resurgence of PC gaming. As a regular Steam user, I've been noticing prices starting higher and staying higher, as the platform moves from being an off-hand dumping ground to a player in gaming.

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Bio
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 7:17:47 PM

"Discounting games does not only increase unit sales–it increases actual revenues. During the 16-day sale window over the holidays, third-parties were given a choice as to how severely they would discount their games. Those that discounted their games by 10 percent saw a 35% uptick in sales–that's dollars, not units. A 25 percent discount meant a 245 percent increase in sales. Dropping the price by 50 percent meant a sales increase of 320 percent. And a 75 percent decrease in the price point generated a 1,470 percent increase in sales."

http://www.edge-online.com/features/valve-are-games-too-expensive/

Games are too expensive, and saying so isn't 'self centered'.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 8:55:47 PM

Just because we live in an age where people honestly believe they should get something for nothing - which is all those stats prove - doesn't mean the product is worth less.

No, they're not too expensive. N64 games cost $70. That was 20 years ago and considering inflation and the vast difference in technology, I'm not sure I'd complain about $60. I get that practices change and things get easier and cheaper to produce, but $50 million budgets are $50 million budgets. Didn't have those before, either.

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Bio
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 10:20:45 PM

Those stats prove that cheaper games = more money. What exactly were you reading? Because it wasn't that article.

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Bio
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 10:23:19 PM

Honestly why even bother replying if you're going to actively ignore the stated fact that "discounting games doesn't just mean more sales, it means more revenue"?

This is definitive, statistical proof that cheaper games = MORE MONEY and you're just 'nah, it is not true' and honestly what is the point of that?

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, May 01, 2014 @ 4:31:17 AM

Bio,
You should probably consider the fact that the word "sale" has a powerful effect on people, and increases the number of impulse buys simply because an item is on sale.

I mean, the games that release for $40 USD don't typically sell more copies than those that retail at $60, do they? There is no concrete evidence that a lower entry cost means higher revenue, and you can't claim on-sale data as a relevant statistic because there exists a certain bias within it due to the fact that it is based on items on sale, rather than at a lower price by standard.

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___________
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 5:17:34 AM
Reply

hows that the worst news ever?
theres so much worse publicity you can get than people complaining the games too short!
sometimes that can actually be a compliment, a good thing, obviously if people wanted it to last longer they were obviously enjoying it otherwise they wouldnt want more of it.
so hows people enjoying your game and wanting it to last longer the worst news ever!?

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Sir Dan
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 7:40:43 AM
Reply

Length of a game has never concerned me because I have never sat and played a game all the way through in one sitting. With 3 kids and a job I take a very long time to complete any game.

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MRSUCCESS
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 9:24:56 AM
Reply

The next FPS that I'm buying is Far Cry and that's because the main focus is on the campaign. I enjoy playing alone and it doesn't matter whether the game is short or not because I don't play everyday.

I heard Child of LIght is around 12 hours long... that's pretty short but what it does not tell you it's how much you'll enjoy the experience.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 11:29:20 AM

You'll love Far Cry 3, it's a great game, some really cool segments along the main storyline.

Only thing is I wish there was a coop option. Open world games can fast become quite the lonely experience and at least I often find myself wishing there was a buddy there to share it with.

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Axe99
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 6:25:18 PM
Reply

The obsession with game length is the same as any of our species' irrational obsessions with one indicator at the expense of all else. It comes as a result of our society and activities being far more evolved than our base unit (a human).

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Oxvial
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 8:03:14 PM
Reply

Only a few hours to do the level up? that's a lot more than Ground Zeroes full game a game people here rated highly I find weird now length it's an issue for you guys, for me that I care about length on my games this it's bad news.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 8:46:11 PM
Reply

not all people make intelegent or want to make intelegent reactions to these things i mostly want to know whats really going on so okay then there some sort of explanation as to y the dev will have their reasons right

happy gaming =)

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